Drink of the Week: Campari Orange Passion

It’s Valentine’s Day — time to toast love! Now, before you uncork a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck to make a champagne cocktail, or shake up a ruby-red High Stick Cosmo, let me win you over with a bitter Heart Day tipple: the Campari Orange Passion.

Off-putting at first sip, this bitter-sweet number grows on you after several hearty swallow -- kind of like a bad date after three drinks.

Off-putting at first sip, this bitter-sweet number grows on you after several hearty swallows — kind of like a bad date after three drinks. Image courtesy Campari.

If you’re thinking, “Why on Earth would I make a bitter, lip-puckering cocktail on February 14th?” please hear me out. For starters, lip puckering usually leads to kissing. Second, the drink’s Campari  — a bitter, orange-flavoured Italian aperitif — being somewhat palate-contrary, will have you sipping the drink slowly. This leads to my third point: the cocktail will endear itself to you as the crushed ice melts and dilutes all that bitterness (see photo caption for more). (Confession: as soon as my drink reached the right dilution, I chugalugged it. Oops.) Finally, note the lovely heart-warming hue.

Perhaps sensing that the majority of cocktail drinkers aren’t exactly sure what to mix with their Campari, the brand has come out with a cocktail calendar with Campari drink suggestions for every month of the year. The Campari Orange Passion is for February, natch.

Campari Orange Passion

  • 1 part Campari
  • 2 slices orange
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 parts freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Cherry garnish

Prepare the drink in a tall glass. Place orange slices and brown sugar in the glass and crush to a pulp. Add crushed ice. Add the Campari and orange juice and gently stir. Garnish with a red cherry.

— Recipe courtesy Campari

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